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FEATHERS by Heather Forest


A Jewish Tale from Eastern Europe

adapted by Heather Forest & illustrated by Marcia Cutchin

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-87483-755-3
Publisher: August House

Drawn from her Wisdom Tales from Around the World (1996), this musical but sketchy rendition of an Eastern European tale—in which a Rabbi shows an insufficiently repentant gossip the error of her ways by instructing her to cut open his pillow and then gather back all its feathers—gets a confusing and amateurish set of illustrations from Cutchin. Not only will children have trouble tracking the gossip’s accuser, who changes clothes between one scene and the next, they won’t get much sense of verisimilitude from either the brightly colored festival dress in which some figures are clad, or the equally garishly hued feathers that spill from the Rabbi’s pillow. Furthermore, though those figures’ postures are expressive, their expressions tend to be exaggerated, and their faces and hands awkwardly modeled. Stick with Joan Rothenberg’s more developed version, Yettele’s Feathers (1995). (Picture book/folktale. 6-9)